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Economies as Evolving Complex Systems

Complexity is salient feature of contemporary economic systems. Aggregate dynamics can be seen as emergent properties of interaction processes among heterogeneous agents who behave adaptively (e.g., firms, households, banks, institutional entities). The financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession demonstrated the need to represent macroeconomic phenomena such as persistent crisis, income fluctuations, inequality and structural unemployment as “out-of-equilibrium” phenomena. Agent-Based Models (ABMs) are an effective tool to inform policy making in relation to these phenomena. We developed ABMs capable of reproducing a broad range of robust statistical properties – both at the macro- and at the micro-level, integrating innovation processes, production, aggregate demand and financial markets. Policy scenarios elaborated through these models have already gained the attention of decision makers within the European Community and several central banks. The most recent modeling efforts concern consumption patterns, the labor market, open economies and international trade – as well as determinants and impacts of climate change. We produce modeling modules that are reusable, complementary, and can be integrated ad various aggregation levels.